I could never get my son to sing in front of me or with me.
It wasn’t until he started speech therapy at 3 years old, in a group setting that I heard him sing for the first time behind a two-way-mirror.
The ”Wheels on the Bus” song never sounded so beautiful. If he sang, it was with his speech class, with his OT, or singing himself to sleep at night. One night, I heard him sing, “If you’re happy and you know it”. My heart melted, but knew as soon as I made any effort to record it, he would clam up, get all shy, and then mad. So I just sat there and listened to him over the monitor.
While his school was working on the Christmas program this year, issues arose with him not participating with the singing or moves they did with the songs.
Around the holidays before the pageant, I went into worry mode, envisioning a full meltdown in front of 2 preschool classes and their families. I got my OT involved.
She practiced with my son and he sang with her and knew all the words, but wouldn’t sing at school or with me. So with the OTs suggestions, I “practiced” with (more like for) him. I sang and did the moves pretending to shake a maraca to Feliz Navidad when we heard it in the car ride to and from school. I’d start and hear his protests of “NO NO NO, MOMMY DON’T SING!” I stopped right at that moment when you know you can still save it, you know what I mean…
He made the choice not to sing with or for me for years, so I let it go, hoping one day he would sing in my presence.
Last year for Christmas I got my son “Bob the Builder: Christmas to Remember (the movie)”. He loves Bob the Builder and I wanted to get him into the holiday spirit with the help of his favorite character. It features the voice of Elton John and at (spoiler alert) the grand finale John’s character sings “The Crocodile Rock.” I like to listen to Elton John.
So, one day after he had seen the movie, I thought I would introduce him to the greatest hits CD starting with Crocodile Rock. “It’s like Bob the Builder,” he said. From that day on, he always asked for it in the car. It stated out “Bob’s song” to the now “can we please listen to ‘Crocodile Rock well’” (taken literally from the lyrics). I took the request every time we were in the car for a year.
On a snow day in December this year, my son was sitting on his therapy ball next to a huge cardboard box I was filling with out-grown clothes.
He said “Mommy, come sit with me and play the piano.” I stopped folding the clothes and sat down next to the cardboard box and began to drum my finger on the “piano” having no idea of the surprise in store.
He tapped his fingers on the box and rolled and bounced on the ball and began “I remember when rock was young, me and Sue had so much fun……(his own version of what he had heard on the stereo) up to the na na na na na na part!!!!!!
With no prompting, my son was finally singing to me!!!
We were hopin’ & bopin’ to the Crocodile Rock that day! Now, when the spirit moves him, he will sing with me with minimal NO NO NOs.